Saturday, December 22, 2012

A Very Soggy Skirrid

It sure was very boggy out there today but I'm glad I made the effort to go. The Skirrid fell race has the makings of becoming a favourite in my fixture list. I almost didn't make it though - but not as almost didn't make it as The Finch, who had a spot of car trouble (hope he made it home okay). The road down to Monmouth was closed due to the weather so I had to find an alternative. Fortunately I'd set off early so had plenty of time to go around. Even with the detour I got there in plenty of time and registered as lucky number thirteen.

I was mighty surprised by the turn out. There must have been 60+ runners on a day where you'd have thought people would have struggled to get a day pass. To the race itself it was a boggy start across several fields of varying steepness - all upwards though. As I struggled along in the middle order I realised how terribly unfit I have become. Runnable inclines - weren't. After a slow trudge things got even slower on the first climb proper. Finally to the top a smiling Lou directed us over the top. The drop was steep and rocky. I wasn't able to go quite as quick as I'd have liked due to congestion - but keep that quiet or Boris might try and bring in charges.

After no time at all it was time to climb the nose back up, to the summit this time. I was surprised that I actually over took someone on the climb and pulled a little gap on a few others. With lungs bursting I finally reached the trig point and from there it was all down hill. To be fair I was a bit namby pamby on the drop. It was steep and I had my new leggings on and didn't want to get them shredded. The course was ripe for a bum slide - ooh er misses - but I stayed on my feet.

After a bit, the descent shallowed as the route returned to the fields and some slip slidey fast running. Laurie, Neil and Nikki were right on my heels on the run-in but I managed to keep ahead. Not sure of my placing but somewhere in the middle no doubt. I'd really like to be in the top half though. Then it was back to the Skirrid Inn for the prize giving before the journey home.

Well done to Mr C for a great race and thanks to all the marshals. The Skirrid was a joy on a such a grey winters day.

Approximate route (didn't take my gps):